Ways you can maintain tile, stone & brick floors

July 27, 2015

While stone, brick and tile floors are long-wearing and beautiful materials, they still need special care and attention. Here's some simple things you can do to keep your floors looking their best.

Ways you can maintain tile, stone & brick floors

Cleaning and sealing

  • Unglazed tiles and the grout in between should be sealed with a silicone sealer, which helps stop unsightly soiling.
  • With glazed tiles, only the grout must be sealed. Do this after installation, and repeat as needed.

The easy way to clean ceramics

  • The easiest way to keep ceramic tiles clean is to scrub them with an electric floor washer.
  • When washing, use a solution of 50 millilitres low-sudsing detergent and one to two tablespoons of washing soda, or a commercial cleaning powder in four litres of water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

Get heavily-stained grout looking new again

  • To clean heavily stained grout, mix a solution of two tablespoons liquid chlorine bleach and one litre  water.
  • Apply to the grout using an old toothbrush, and let stand for 20 minutes.
  • Mop the floor, rinse and wipe dry.
  • Then brush on an acrylic sealer.
  • As an alternative sealer, apply three coats of lemon oil. Wait an hour between applying coats.

Scrub away stubborn stains on ceramics

Stubborn stains on ceramic tile, while uncommon, can happen. Treat them with a paste made of scouring powder and water. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for five minutes then scrub the area with a nonscratch nylon pad. Rinse with water and wipe dry. Repeat if necessary.

Keeping brick clean

  • A sealed brick floor can be kept clean with regular vacuuming and only occasional damp-mopping with plain water to remove soil and dirt.
  • For heavier soil and unsealed, more porous brick surfaces, wash with a mild detergent. Then, rinse and wipe dry.

The rag mop solution

  • Use a rag mop to clean brick or stone floors. A sponge mop will snag and break apart on these irregular surfaces.
  • Because dried-on cleaner can cause stone surfaces to chip, it's important to keep the floor wet during the cleaning process
  • Thoroughly wet the floor with water before applying any kind of cleaning product.
  • Once the floor is clean, rinse the area well.

Stop oil and grease stains

Some oil and grease stains in brick and stone can be removed or lightened by immediately spreading a layer of cat litter or powdered cement on the stain. Allow the material to soak up the stain, then sweep clean. If necessary, repeat.

When in doubt, use some elbow grease

  • To remove paint specks and smudged mortar from brick, find a piece of broken brick that's the same colour as the brick you're cleaning.
  • Scrub the brick surface with the broken piece. Don't use the face of the brick because it's harder and can cause scratches.
  • Sweep away the pieces of brick that have been left behind.
  • This transfer technique also works for other masonry surfaces, such as stone and concrete block.

Typically, problems with stone, tile and brick floors are with the materials in the joints, not the actual floor. By keeping your floors properly maintained, you can extend their life. In the rare cases of cracks and necessary replacements, it's usually best to call a professional.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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